Installed at the Kennedy Center right when the cherry blossoms were at their cockiest, New York City Ballet bowed to its glorious past and flaunted its protean present in two dazzling programs.
On Saturday afternoon, the company that currently possesses the greatest repertoire in the world served up a Balanchine banquet of Tchaikovsky appetizer (Serenade), Stravinsky main (Agon) and Bizet dessert (Symphony in C), with the tiny dynamo Clotilde Otranto firmly at the helm of the New York City Ballet Orchestra.
At Sunday’s matinee, the combination of Rachmaninoff at his most lush and ecclesiastical and Peter Martins at his most buttoned-down and bromidic sent the 10-year-old to Ballet to the People’s left into a deep slumber, only to be jolted upright by Alexei Ratmansky’s colorful and witty Pictures at an Exhibition.
A sublime interlude before Justin Peck’s rousing program closer was provided by the ravishing Sara Mearns, sensitively partnered by Tyler Angle in This Bitter Earth, by Christopher Wheeldon.
Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go took us on a wild ride through the landscape of composer Sufjan Stevens’ imagination.